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The Gnostic Crucifixion   By: (1863-1933)

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THE GNOSTIC CRUCIFIXION

WORKS BY THE SAME AUTHOR

Net.

THRICE GREATEST HERMES (3 vols.) 30/

FRAGMENTS OF A FAITH FORGOTTEN 10/6

DID JESUS LIVE 100 B.C.? 9/

THE WORLD MYSTERY 5/

THE GOSPEL AND THE GOSPELS 4/6

APOLLONIUS OF TYANA 3/6

THE UPANISHADS (2 vols.) 3/

PLOTINUS 1/

ECHOES FROM THE GNOSIS

BY G. R. S. MEAD

VOL. VII.

THE GNOSTIC CRUCIFIXION

THE THEOSOPHICAL PUBLISHING SOCIETY LONDON AND BENARES 1907

PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN

ECHOES FROM THE GNOSIS.

Under this general title is now being published a series of small volumes, drawn from, or based upon, the mystic, theosophic and gnostic writings of the ancients, so as to make more easily audible for the ever widening circle of those who love such things, some echoes of the mystic experiences and initiatory lore of their spiritual ancestry. There are many who love the life of the spirit, and who long for the light of gnostic illumination, but who are not sufficiently equipped to study the writings of the ancients at first hand, or to follow unaided the labours of scholars. These little volumes are therefore intended to serve as introduction to the study of the more difficult literature of the subject; and it is hoped that at the same time they may become for some, who have, as yet, not even heard of the Gnosis, stepping stones to higher things.

G. R. S. M.

THE GNOSTIC CRUCIFIXION

CONTENTS

PAGE

PREFACE 9

THE VISION OF THE CROSS 12

COMMENTS 20

POSTCRIPT 69

TEXTS

Bonnet (M.), Acta Apostolorum Apocrypha (Leipzig, 1898).

James (M. R.), Apocrypha Anecdota, T. & S. , v. i. (Cambridge, 1897).

F. = Fragments of a Faith Forgotten , 2nd. ed. (London, 1906).

H. = Thrice Greatest Hermes (London, 1906).

ECHOES FROM THE GNOSIS

VOL. I. THE GNOSIS OF THE MIND. VOL. II. THE HYMNS OF HERMES. VOL. III. THE VISION OF ARIDÆUS. VOL. IV. THE HYMN OF JESUS. VOL. V. THE MYSTERIES OF MITHRA. VOL. VI. A MITHRIAC RITUAL. VOL. VII. THE GNOSTIC CRUCIFIXION.

SOME PROPOSED SUBJECTS FOR FORTHCOMING VOLUMES

THE CHALDÆAN ORACLES. THE HYMN OF THE PRODIGAL. SOME ORPHIC FRAGMENTS.

THE GNOSTIC CRUCIFIXION.

PREFACE.

The Gnostic Mystery of the Crucifixion is most clearly set forth in the new found fragments of The Acts of John , and follows immediately on the Sacred Dance and Ritual of Initiation which we endeavoured to elucidate in Vol. IV. of these little books, in treating of The Hymn of Jesus .

The reader is, therefore, referred to the "Preamble" of that volume for a short introduction concerning the nature of the Gnostic Acts in general and of the Leucian Acts of John in particular. I would, however, add a point of interest bearing on the date which was forgotten, though I have frequently remarked upon it when lecturing on the subject.

The strongest proof that we have in our fragment very early material is found in the text itself, when it relates the following simple form of the miracle of the loaves.

"Now if at any time He were invited by one of the Pharisees and went to the bidding, we used to go with Him. And before each was set a single loaf by the host; and of them He Himself also received one. Then He would give thanks and divide His loaf among us; and from this little each had enough, and our own loaves were saved whole, so that those who bade Him were amazed."

If the marvellous narratives of the feeding of the five thousand had been already in circulation, it is incredible that this simple story, which we may so easily believe, should have been invented. Of what use, when the minds of the hearers had been strung to the pitch of faith which had already accepted the feeding of the five thousand as an actual physical occurrence, would it have been to invent comparatively so small a wonder? On the other hand, it is easy to believe that from similar simple stories of the power of the Master, which were first of all circulated in the inner circles, the popular narratives of the multitude feeding miracles could be developed... Continue reading book >>




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